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35

I am answering this question, but I am not going to accept this answer, at least not without further research and/or experimentation and editing this answer to reflect that. I am hoping that somebody with a greater knowledge of chemistry and the nature of brining can add to or even credibly contradict the science of what I am saying here. My conclusions are ...


29

It won't do anything useful. Brining works on raw meat by denaturing some of the proteins inside the cells so they gel and hold tightly onto their water. It also gets tasty salt in. Cooked meat has already had its proteins denatured by heat. Brining will not cause the meat to hold on to any new water. Basically all it will do is wash away some of the ...


19

My suggestion would be if you don't like the taste don't buy the fish in the first place, however if you have bought fish and then found out it's too strong a flavor there are a few things you can do: A squeeze of lemon: acidity is a well known and frequently used way to cut fatty, oily flavors Sugar rub: coating the flesh with some sugar and letting it sit ...


17

While reusing brine is probably fine in many cases, it's tricky from a food-safety perspective. It seems like there are lots of threads on the internet these days about reusing "pickle juice," and there are great reasons to take your brine and use it in some recipe for salads, dressings, sauces, etc. that you'll consume soon after making (or at least ...


13

Actually, it's a popular misconception that brining works because of osmosis. If it was really osmosis at work, plain water would work better than salted water. Kenji over at The Food Lab went into this a few months ago: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html Here's the relevant bit: To understand ...


11

People often marinate beef cuts like flank steak or skirt steak. Dry brining (pre-salting) beef is pretty common, such as for prepping many steaks. Wet brining is also pretty common -- corned beef is brined. Beef tongue is often pickled and brined as well.


10

I agree with @rumtscho that you should not need to salt after brining. However, I totally disagree with the accepted answer. There are simply too many reputable sources that say otherwise, not to mention my own experience. First, please see the accepted answer to this question which is from Cook's Illustrated. Secondly, this article from Stella ...


9

In fact, although the risk is low, the Penn State Extension does recommend soaking in the refrigerator, or using the quick soak method as opposed to an overnight room temperature soak: To be on the safe side, it would be advisable to use the quick soak method: Bring water and beans to a boil, cover and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 ...


9

You cannot brine after cooking but you could slice the meat and place it in a jus. You see this commonly with "Italian Beef" and "French Dip" sandwiches. Take whatever drippings you have left and add supplement with beef/chicken/vegetable stock/broth/. Slice and place the meat in the jus until serving which may get you closer to the outcome you are looking ...


9

There certainly are proponents of brining beef to impact texture and flavor. In my looking across the internets, it appears that dry "brining" is more common than wet, but both are used for steaks. Whether or not the results are "spectacular" is up to you. So, I would give it a try to see if you like it. For me, I generally don't prefer the texture of ...


9

For tender meat like steak, brining is generally not needed (nor recommended). However I can see some applications where you'd want to delicately brine a thick cut of a steak by submerging the meat for a long-time in a low-concentration salt-water solution i.e. equilibrium brining Quoting directly from the Chefsteps Equilibrium Brining page: The goal ...


8

Good experiment but I think there is some other factors at play on top of the osmotic forces. And electrical charge is as important as molecular weight. Animal tissue is composed of cells made mainly of lipid bilayer and the cells are suspended in a matrix of connective tissue. Osmotic forces act across a cell membrane where water flows down a ...


8

Brining and marination do two different things, contrary to popular belief. Brines allow salt (plus possibly a very few other small flavor molecules) to penetrate into meat, at a rate of about 2-2.5 CM per 24 hours. These deeply season your meat, change its texture, and help allow it to retain moisture when being cooked. Marinades are a surface treatment, ...


8

The short answer is 1-2 years for traditional pickles, assuming a good recipe with adequate salt content and fermentation time (traditionally anywhere from a month to a few months). For modern quick fermented homemade recipes, where the pickles are fermented in a week or so instead of months, I'd recommend using them up within a month or two. Some ...


7

If you are going to do anything, do it when you are ready to put the pickles in the fridge again, not when canning - acid keeps the canned pickles safe. So - leave them really sour as canned. When ready to eat a jar, open, dump the brine, add water (whether or not you salt it is up to you and the salt level in the pickles - I'd try plain water) - put it in ...


7

I work on a gillnet boat in Alaska for a few weeks each summer. Here are some tips: Get the freshest fish you can. I know you asked about the curing process specifically, but it all starts here. Anything you do after this is just masking any off flavors. The older it is the more fishy and strongly flavored it becomes. If you can find it get fish that has ...


6

Cooks Illustrated apparently sent some brined meat off to a lab for analysis: We were also interested in finding out how much sodium penetrates during the process. To answer the question, we brined natural pork chops and boneless, skinless chicken breasts in standard quick-brine solutions of 1/2 cup table salt dissolved in 2 quarts of cold water. ...


6

When you go to cook them, defrost them by the cold, moving water method, unwrapped. Give them at least a half hour or so soaking in clear, cold water. That should take care of it.


6

According to Handbook of Food Science, Technology, and Engineering, Volume 3, edited by Yiu H. Hui, the freezing of any meats, (particularly red meats), causes cell walls to rupture the rate of rupture is inversely proportionate to the rate freezing Since household-grade freezers are of the slower sort, owing to an effort toward energy efficiency, when ...


6

Yes. To make pastrami or corned beef, one must brine the meat for about a week. Corning, brining, and pickling are all variants of the same process - curing meat in a sugar- and/or salt-water solution, regardless of whether it is in fact kosher. For pastrami, and maybe corned beef, you add nitrates to the solution. I made Pastrami once. The total ...


6

For the record, your brine was most likely fine. It's normal for lacto-ferments to get cloudy. As for replacing the brine, I would use another batch of salt-brine, and possibly toss in some fresh onions to kickstart a new round of fermentation and preserve your carrots that way. Having said that, anything you add at this point is going to change your ...


6

Typically brines are for tenderizing and penetrating flavour into the meat. The use of the brine would be to break down the tough meat Though a sous vide does tenderize mildly with the long cooking time you stated, you don't want to over cook it, hence the brine. Nor would the sous vide alone add as much flavour as the 2 week brine. The brine is more ...


5

To further add to this. Here's an explanation from the Chefsteps site on brining The Effects of Brining Charged chloride ions from the dissolved salt in a brine will repel, destabilize, and unravel various proteins within the muscle fibers of meats and seafood. This is not altogether different than what cooking with heat also does to these proteins. ...


5

Alton Brown was on NPR's "All Things Considered" this week. http://www.npr.org/2012/11/13/165039668/turkey-tips-from-alton-brown-dont-baste-or-stuff He said he likes to thaw the bird in the cooler for up to a week in ice brine. As the ice melts it dilutes the brine. I am trying this myself this year, but only for 3 days. Alton claims he has not seen the ...


5

Brine can be stored in the fridge pretty much indefinitely. It might even be safe at room temp, but you'll want it to be cold when you use it anyway. If you used whole seasonings (which are, indeed, pretty pointless,) strain them out, especially if you plan to store your brine for more than a week. I have kept a half-gallon jar full of brine in the fridge ...


5

It's not 'unsafe', but is potentially riskier. It is the traditional method, and history is on its side If these are for personal consumption and you trust the source of the beans or oats and you have good hygiene practices, clean water etc. then go ahead. Surface bacteria is the primary risk here. You normally wash and rinse the beans first, so most of ...


5

I don't think it's really achievable with most of the canned product I've seen. The best I've accomplished is to slightly mask the flavor using tricks like adding sugar to the dish, which only works for certain categories of foods (clay pot braises, etc.) I've found better-quality water-packed plastic sealed pouches that are only slightly acidic, but these ...


5

In brief, your question has no possible general answer for the kind of scenario you posit (where you add a certain amount of salt to a certain volume of food) or even a scenario where you add a brine of concentration X to a certain amount of food. Most vegetable (and animal) sources for food contain significant amounts of water, and some of that water will ...


5

I can't remember how many times I've remembered to take out the turkey much to late for a full proper defrost. Yes, you can probably thaw it in cold water. But I would go a step further if you're brining it anyway. Alton Brown posted a blog post yesterday with exactly the same problem as you. Apparently Professional food people forget to defrost their birds ...


5

The question starts with an inaccurate assumption. Salt does NOT necessarily result in "drier steak." Salting a steak will draw some moisture out of the outermost layer of meat initially. That's true. However, salt also helps to break down the outer muscle structure of the meat. Thus, within 10-15 minutes after meat is salted, water will actually start ...


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